Gone in a Flash

Blog / Produced by The High Calling
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A few years ago during the Olympics, a TV report updated the lives of gold medal winners from years past. Story after story, after the shining moments of national anthems and glory, the world’s best athletes stepped down into lives of depression, frustration, and sadness.

Such drive . . . such motivation to gain attention and stand out. Some people want to see their faces on a billboard; others just want to attend the popular girl’s birthday party. The lie is that a person’s importance hinges on fame, celebrity, or invitations.

In the Bible, Jesus tells his followers about the Kingdom life, an entirely new way to live. Fleeting glory can’t supply our meaning, he says. In Matthew 6:1-18, Jesus describes three situations in which his followers are not to stand out, but to be different: when they give money or do acts of righteousness, when they pray, and when they fast.

“But when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.” Matt. 6:5

Some people deliberately attracted notice to their spiritual actions for public adulation and honor. They received a reward limited to that moment. Once their audiences disperse, publicity seekers must look for the next crowd.

Jesus advises the followers, “When you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” Matt. 6:6.

The lasting reward, the one not fickle or dependent on popular opinion, is our relationship with God the Father. He knows and loves us and sees into our hearts. He knows we fear rejection and want attention. He knows we are lonely and desperately wish to be known and valued. He invites us to live for Him and His lasting reward. As we pray, give, fast, live our daily lives, He tenderly tells us that we belong to Him, our Father, and that He is proud of us. He offers us meaning and hope.

The world’s gold medals will rust and lie forgotten in some attic trunk. People will forget our names. Life with Jesus is for eternity.